Warner Bros Animation recently digitally released Justice League Dark. The film is an animated version of a comic book series that started in 2011; it’s also the latest installment in a new series of Justice League related animated films.
These films started in 2014 with Justice League: War, which gave the origins of the Justice League. However, Justice League Dark isn’t for the average DC superhero fan who enjoys watching Superman beat the snot out of a bad guy, while the Flash mouths off.
This film caters to the fans who relish in the supernatural and prefer spellcasting over punches.
The Justice League Dark roster is made up of John Constantine, Zatanna, Jason Blood, Deadman, and Batman. A little different than the comic book line-up, but most of the major players are at the table. Traditional members of the Justice League make appearances, however, Batman is the only member who is featured throughout the whole film.
Batman takes on a new team that consists of magicians and magical creatures to figure out why everyday people worldwide are seeing illusions of demons. These illusions are causing people to do horrible things like attack their family and slaughter their neighbors. Though Batman is known to take point on most missions in The Justice League, his lack of knowledge in the mystic arts forces him to take a step back and let John Constantine lead the group.
Supernatural enthusiast should be pleased with the amount of mystic mischief that takes place, even though the creators could have added just a little more magic. The biggest magic scene was an all out spellcasting brawl between the team and Felix Faust, who wasn’t even the main antagonist. The whole team fought valiantly, but Zatanna proved to be the real MVP by releasing all of her magical power and shutting Faust down.
Constantine and Zatanna were clearly the main stars, not only were they the primary spellcasters but traces of their former relationship constantly surfaced. Batman along with Jason Blood and Deadman were simply hero support. It was different seeing Batman play “Robin” to another guy.
Another interesting aspect of the film was the many faults of John Constantine. No one disputes the fact that Constantine is a powerful sorcerer and supernatural expert, but he’s also an alcoholic who has a deadly gambling habit.
He is extremely callous and has a knack for agitating almost every person he comes in contact with. The team sometimes found themselves in a situation where they must rely on Constantine’s contacts to move forward with their investigation.
Unfortunately, the person or creature often initially refuses to aid the group, mostly due to a grudge that they hold against Constantine. This dilemma repeats itself a few times and makes it hard to believe that there is anyone alive who Constantine hasn’t wronged.
Warner Bros and DC Entertainment definitely didn’t drop the ball on this one. All of the new animated films have been excellent in terms of content and animation. They may all have different storylines but neither outshined the other and all managed to stay connected. Only a preference in the subject can make one seem more appealing than the others. This film follows behind Justice League vs. Teen Titans, which also has magical elements in the story.
Justice League Dark releases on Blu-ray and DVD on February 7th.
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